Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Our election non-pledge

On 21 April the Guildford edition of the Surrey Advertiser published a list of candidates standing in Guildford town with statements from some of them. We were among a number who just had a mention of the candidate's name and party. This week's edition included belated statements from those left out, under the heading "County council election pledges". Ours stated:
I am standing to raise the issue of the need for the shared and democratic ownership of the Earth’s resources, with all goods and services produced for use, rather than for profit.
The current crisis in social care in Surrey is a pressing example of why this change is necessary. Its root cause is today’s outdated system where finance determines what can, and cannot happen.
Socialists suggest a better way. At a time when we can easily feed, house and care for every human on the planet, it no longer makes sense to use money to ration access to what we need, especially not to the needs of the most vulnerable.
I am standing to make the point that local problems arise from the economic system of production for profit that exists everywhere and that they cannot be solved unless this system is replaced by one based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production, and access for all to what they need on the basis of 'from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.
Of course this was not an "election pledge" since we don't do these. We are not promising to do anything for anyone, merely putting a proposition before electors. If they want the change from capitalism to socialism this is something they must do for themselves, not by trusting in leaders.
The candidates' statements from both 21 and 28 April can be found here on the site of Get Surrey, the paper's online version.

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